One of the things we learn as young drivers and again as we become much older is to drive defensively. This means keeping a close eye out for hazardous weather or road conditions, emergency vehicles and other cars that could cause an accident. Defensive driving is safer than passive or aggressive driving because we’re more prepared for something to go wrong. But there are some circumstances no one can anticipate.

A woman was killed last weekend in a head-on collision in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, on Saturday afternoon. She was only a half-mile from her home when a woman who was fleeing from police ran into her. According to police reports, the driver in the other car was speeding when an officer in an approaching police car saw her run a red light. The officer passed the car and then attempted to turn around to pull her over. He was attempting to catch up to her when the driver slammed head-on into another car, killing the woman driving it instantly.

A woman who was driving on the same road just before the crash recalled what she saw. “I looked in the rearview mirror and I saw police lights. I pulled over but (the driver) almost hit me,” she said. “Then I saw the young lady dead. Just to see that … the way the car was smashed and she was in it. It was so sad. I’ve been praying and thinking about her family.”

The driver wanted by police was taken to a hospital with two broken legs, and her passenger suffered a head injury. The driver, who was on probation in two counties and didn’t have a valid driver’s license, according to police, is expected to face charges of homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and other offenses. But even a conviction and lengthy prison sentence won’t bring back the woman who died in the collision. Her family may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit to ease the pain of their loss, or at least cover the expenses of putting her to rest.

Source:, “Police: SUV ran light before fatal Penn Hills chase,” Bobby Kerlik and Margaret Harding, Feb. 21, 2012